Research shows COVID-19 independent risk factor for acute ischemic stroke

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The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, SARS-CoV-2, is significantly associated with strokes, and patients with COVID-19 should undergo more aggressive monitoring for stroke, according to new research from the at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology.

For the retrospective case-control study, researchers looked at 123 patients presenting to the New York City hospital for suspicion of stroke from March to April 2020. The researchers observed and compared the group of patients with stroke versus non-stroke. The results showed significantly elevated number of patients with COVID-19 infection among the stroke group after stratifying for other known common stroke risk factors, including age and gender.

This is the first major peer reviewed study to establish a link between SARS-CoV-2 infection and increased stroke risk when accounting for confounding risk factors. Patients with COVID-19 should be evaluated early for acute neurological changes and timely workup should be performed in patients suspected to have stroke to reduce morbidity and mortality, the researchers said.

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